Brugge Or I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Monday, June 11, 2007

We had a lovely day in Bruges or Brugge, if you pronounce it the Dutch way. The weather was mild and cloudy so we didn't have to bake in the sun.

I'm too lazy to go into the history of the ancient city so here's Wiki's take on it. Also check this out. What I will say is that it's your typical, fairytale, romantic European city - good for holding hands and being surgically stuck at the hip with one's spouse or partner while the both of you explore the many winding side streets and admire the wonderful medieval architechture. Because of its many waterways and canals, not unlike Amsterdam and Venice, there's the requisite Ferry Ride. Another opportunity for more canoodling; that is, if you don't mind being watched by thirty other people in the same boat. We do, so we kept it to hand holding. Which in itself is a bit of a treat. Normally, we get railroaded by our son who for some reason, cannot stand the sight of mum and dad holding hands. He just has to be in the middle of us, clasping each of our hands instead.

We walked for about four hours, touring the city with our host, the colleague whose farewell party this was. Being a Brugge native, and whom I would call a commando tour guide, we got quite an intensive workout. At around 5.45pm, all twenty of us adjourned to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. By some coincidence, we were all booked in the same place. You'd think it was a company event rather than a private party.

So we all got changed for dinner and proceeded to make our way to the restaurant where reservations were held. Again, more hand holding between the hubby and me. This time, it was more out of neccessity than romance. You see, I had on killer (quite literally as I would soon find out) four inch stilletos, which is not a problem at all if the walking surface is relatively smooth. I can even dance in them. However, the whole of Brugge is made up of cobblestoned pavements, so one can imagine just how fun the walk to the nearby restaurant was. By the way, I use the term 'nearby' loosely since it came up to a thirty minute walk. I kept my mouth shut, opting instead to threw dagger-like glances at my poor husband who was gallantly trying to help me keep my balance. The others were more vocal, especially the men, who were used to driving everywhere. I just prayed my heels would hold up. Never mind my personal safety (I could have easily broken an ankle), just don't let anything happen to these beautiful babies!

After what seemed like forever, we finally arrived at the restaurant. Or so we thought. Noooooo! We had barely got ourselves seated when our host tells us oopsie, there's been a mix-up, this is not the right restaurant. What the fishballs???!!! This time, some of the other wives got into a bit of a huff, since they too were in heels, though not stilletos. The men were just thristy for a beer so that's enough said.

It was completely surreal, I felt like I was in a Monty Python farce or one of the Carry On comedy movies. Unbelievable!

Anyway, everything turned out fine in the end. We did eventually make it to the right restaurant - another ten minute feet wrenching walk away. Dinner was superb and the drinks kept flowing. The company wasn't half bad either with everyone mingling and chatting away. Dinner ended at half past eleven, after which we all proceeded to a disco. I haven't been in one for ages so it was rather nice. At 2am, I, or rather my feet surrendered and my husband and I called it a night. We were completely wiped out - him from the drinks and me from my feet. To think that I used to go dancing twice a week!

Oh, and we took a cab back to the hotel. I stated to my husband in no unequivocal terms I was walking. I believe my exact words were "Damn if I'm walking back!" Another couple and a colleague felt the same way too. Taxis at that time of the night were a hot commodity so instead of waiting for seperate ones, we all piled in at the first available ride. Yes, all five of us. Desperate times call for desperate measures. One also can't help noticing how amazingly short and painless the journey back was.


For those interested in that sort of thing, here's what I wore for dinner:

A silk, knee-length dress with a plunging v-neckline...

... cinched at the waist with a front tie sash.

And here are the shoes and matching purse.

I don't care how well-made they are,

these shoes are NOT made for walking!


The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 5:52 pm

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